4 Things to Do When Starting a Side-hustle w/ LaTasha James

January 2, 2019 | Episode #23
In the first episode of season 2, we're talking about the 4 things to do when starting a side-hustle with my amazing guest LaTasha James!

Welcome to Season 2!

I’m so excited to launch the second season of Easier!

During the hiatus, I re-tooled a number of things to hopefully bring you a cleaner, easier show.

Here’s what’s new:

  1. Every episode this season will feature a Make Life Easier and a Make Work Easier segment
  2. I’ve streamlined the format for each episode
  3. Get ready for some new intro/outro music
  4. The Easier website has been completely refreshed!

You Should Start a Side Hustle

Make Life Easier

This week, my MLE tip is to consider starting a side-hustle.

What’s a side-hustle?

According to The Balance Careers, “A side-hustle is a job that you can work on top of your full-time job. It is a flexible second job that brings in money, but it is also typically something that you are passionate about, that you don’t get to pursue in your main job.”

Why would you want one?

Chris Guillebeau, author of Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days and host of the Side Hustle School podcast, says it best:

If you’re trying to make a big change, a hustle can help you build a foundation to move on to something else. If you love your day job, that’s great too—the hustle will provide a creative outlet and a backup plan.

Side-hustles can be relatively inexpensive to get set up, too.

If you want full details on the what, how, and why of starting a side-hustle, absolutely start with Guillebeau’s content. I’ve read his book twice, and I listen to his podcast all the time. They’re fantastic!

4 Things to Do When Starting a Side-hustle

Make Work Easier

This is my first episode in a series I’m calling New Year, New Business. We’ll talk about what it takes to start a side-hustle and to start bringing in some extra cash!

This week, I’m joined by the phenomenal LaTasha James of A Journey East, James & Park, and the Freelance Friday podcast.

From her website, LaTasha says that she loves teaching others about her love for the entrepreneurial digital world through her e-courses, one-on-one coaching sessions, and the content she produces in videos and podcasts.

LaTasha joined me this week to talk about what it takes to get started with a side-hustle / freelancing.

1. Determine what you want to do

The first thing you should do is figure out what you want to do. Here are some tips:

  • First, think about what you like to do in your spare time. This is a good starting point!
  • Then, figure out what you can do better than anyone else. This is your value proposition.

Niche down

Also, LaTasha recommends that you niche down, or target as specific of a group as possible. As she puts it, it’s better to be everything to one person (or group, niche) than to be something to everybody. 

It’s better to be everything to one person (or group, niche) than something to everybody.

A quick example of this: Let’s say you do web design. About a billion other folks do that too. The question is how can you stand out?

Answer: Let’s get a little bit more specific with the niche. How about web design for schools? Or, even better, web design for schools in inner cities. Just do this with whichever is your preferred customer.

This is how you niche down.

Lots of folks make this same recommendation, too. For example, check out Amy Porterfield and her guest Danielle German talking about this topic on her podcast Online Marketing Made Easy!

2. Gut-check your idea

This is a critical step. Do not skip this step, and don’t move on until you’ve seriously thought about it.

Consider this: Will anyone actually pay for your idea?

Would you pay for it yourself? How about friends or family members? Have you asked folks in your target market?

Chris Guillebeau delves pretty deep into this. In his blog post 3 Questions Smart People Ask Before Starting a Side Hustle, he says, “A side hustle isn’t a hobby—it produces income. If you don’t see a clear way to get paid, abandon the idea.”

A side hustle isn’t a hobby—it produces income. If you don’t see a clear way to get paid, abandon the idea.

If the answer turns out to be no, you’ve just saved yourself a bunch of time and resources. Take Guillebeau’s advice and abandon the idea.

If it’s yes though, you’re on to something! Head to the next step.

3. Find clients / customers

Talk to everyone. That’s basically what LaTasha recommends.

Here are some things to consider:

  • Use your existing network: Talk to friends, family, other folks you know, etc.
  • Get into the real world! This is especially true for online marketers. Talk to people in real life.
  • Go where your ideal customers are! Are they at a trade show? In a Facebook group? At a local meetup? Go there!

Need help figuring out whom your ideal customer is? Here’s an awesome article on buyer personas that’s a great place to start!

4. Establish a brand

We’ll cover branding more in-depth in a couple of weeks! But, here are some thoughts to get you started:

  • Define that target audience! Steps 1 and 3 above help with that.
  • Start slow. You don’t have to have everything perfect from launch.
  • Definitely have a website
  • Your logo / color palette are not the keys to branding. It’s okay to launch without a perfect design!
  • Try to secure your name or your brand’s name on all social platforms if possible. You don’t have to use them all right away, but reserve them if you can.

Bonus tips!

Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle!

This is huge. Both LaTasha and I still struggle with this, as do lots of others. It’s pretty difficult not to.

Try, with all your might, to focus on where you are and your own growth. Don’t beat yourself up because you don’t have 10,000 followers your first week. If you’re consistent and create quality content that folks want, you’ll get there. It takes time.

Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle

Price yourself right

We didn’t talk much about pricing, but LaTasha made one key point: Your pricing should be the same regardless of whether you’re doing a part-time thing or jumping into a full-time business.

Your worth, and the worth of your products / services, doesn’t change based on whether you’re in it full time.

Certainly you can price differently based on your experience (lower at first, and gradually more over time).

But, don’t price lower just because you’re only working on your hustle part-time.

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What’s Next?

Take Advil for Emotional Pain?

Take Advil for Emotional Pain?

Gretchen & Elizabeth, in ep. 97 of Happier with Gretchen Rubin, suggest that you can take Advil to help soothe emotional pain.

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